HIST 447 The Nikkei Experience in North America
On this page:
- Primary Sources: Published
- Primary Sources: Unpublished Materials in Local Archives
- Primary Sources: Online
- Secondary Sources: Books
- Secondary Sources: Journal Articles
- Getting help with your research
Primary Sources: Published (newspapers, government documents and legislation, speeches, memoirs, ... or else collected and published in book form)
You may want to look at the Primary Sources: Definition and Resources page in the History subject guide as well.
Many primary sources have been published and are held in the SFU collection, but searching for them is tricky. The keyword "primary source" usually doesn't work because those words rarely occur in the title of the item. The best approach is to an Advanced Keyword search in the Catalogue. In the first search box put in a topic keyword (e.g. japanese-canadian*) and in the second box put this:
sources OR letter* OR speech* OR correspondence OR diar* OR manuscript* OR narrative
Then browse through and see if there's anything appropriate in your results. Not every hit will be a primary source.
- The Japanese Canadian National Museum has a webpage which lists some published primary and secondary sources.
- Use the Globe and Mail: Canada's Heritage from 1844 to find newspaper articles back to the very first issue.
- SFU Library has local newspapers (e.g. Vancouver Sun) available in microfilm back to the first issue. Other Canadian magazines and newspapers are probably available on microfilm, or we can order copies of articles from other libraries. Some major US newspapers (e.g. New York Times) are also available or can be ordered.
- The Canadian Periodical Index is a print index which lists articles from major Canadian magazines. Its coverage starts in 1920. Find it in the Reference Indexes section (second floor) at FC 1 C3584
- Government legislation will be readily available, either in print in the library or sometimes online. See a librarian for assistance once you know what you're looking for.
Primary Sources: Unpublished Materials in Local Archives (letters, manuscripts, diaries, journals, photos ...)
- Japanese Canadian Research Collection at UBC Library Special Collections: visit this page, scroll down to the section on Japanese Canadians, and see the three books which describe what they have in their collection.
- The Vancouver Public Library Special Collections on the 7th Floor of the central Library at 350 West Georgia has extensive historical material
- You may also want to explore the City of Vancouver Archives
- The City of Richmond Archives also has some material.
- Japanese Canadian Oral History Collection (SFU & National Nikkei Museum & Heritage Centre) - extensive digital collection of recorded interviews
- Densho: Japanese American Legacy Project - digitized primary source materials on the World War II incarceration of Japanese Americans (including oral histories).
- Discover Nikkei - this project includes a collection of recorded Nikkei oral histories
- North American Immigrant Letters, Diaries, and Oral Histories: includes hundreds of documents from Japanese immigrants
- National Association of Japanese Canadians website exhibit "Japanese Canadians Then and Now": displays a small number of primary sources, but they indicate clearly where they got the item from, and this could be a lead to other collections.
- Relocation to Redress: The Internment of the Japanese Canadians - CBC Archive website, provides access to radio and television clips
- East to West: The story of the Japanese settlers to southern Alberta as told through the memories of their children.
- Vancouver Public Library Special Collections has a huge photography collection which includes material on Japanese Canadians. Some of the material has been digitized and made available online.
- National Film Board of Canada has produced a film about Japanese
- UBC Library has a webpage on the internment in the US which lists some collections available online, especially photography.
- The US National Archives webpage on Japanese Relocation and Internment During World War II provides descriptions of the National Archvives project, as well as links to other online collections.
- The Jack Iwata Collection, accessible through the Japanese American National Museum's website, provides access to 166 photographs and copy negatives taken at Manzanar and Tule Lake concentration camps between 1942 and 1945.
- Buraku Liberation and Human Rights Research Institute
- Osaka Human Rights Museum
- There are a large number of online collections related to the Japanese American experience, especially the internment. Use Google and search for japanese internment "primary sources"
- we have hundreds of relevant books
- start with a keyword search for japanese canadian*
- when you find suitable books, look at the Subject Headings to see where else they lead you
- a good subject heading: Japanese -- British Columbia
- for the US try a keyword search for japanese america*
- look for other suitable keywords which occur in the books you find, e.g. nisei, sansei, specific locations, names of people or events, etc.
See also the lists of secondary sources created by various groups and organizations:
- Japanese Canadian National Museum > Resources page
- japanesecanadianhistory.net > Other Resources page
- discovernikkei.org > Resources page
- the best search engine for academic journal articles from History journals
- it also includes history books and PhD theses/dissertations
- start with a keyword search for "japanese canadians" (use quotes, no hyphen) = 100+ hits
- "japanese americans" = 1000+ hits; nisei = 100+ hits
- click the "Expand Record" button to see a short summary of the article, Subject Headings, etc.
- click the "Where Can I Get This?" button to find out how you can get the article: (a) online, (b) in print on the 6th floor, or (c) order it from another library
- to narrow a search to a specific decade, go to the Advanced search tab; in the Time Period field enter 1920d for the 1920's; for two decades do this: 1920d or 1930d
Other databases you may wish to try:
CBCA Fulltext Reference: searches a variety of Canadian academic journals (cross discipline) plus
popular magazines and newspapers
- Depending on the topic you choose, you might want to use databases for other disciplines, e.g. Sociology, Anthropology, Geography, etc. -- from the Library homepage (www.lib.sfu.ca) click on Journal Articles & Databases then locate the name of the discipline from the drop-down menu of the first box.
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